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Jewish World Review Dec. 20, 2000 / 23 Kislev, 5761

David Limbaugh

David Limbaugh
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Consumer Reports


GOP: Breaking
the race barrier


http://www.jewishworldreview.com -- IN THIS YEAR'S inevitable election post-mortem, I think Republicans should seriously consider why they haven't been able to break the race barrier. Given their new president, they couldn't be better positioned to tackle this problem.

First, let me clarify something. It bothers me and, I'm sure, most Republicans and conservatives to think in these terms. We prefer to approach politics from a purely colorblind perspective. We don't want to fashion policies geared to one particular race or gender group.

What I'm referring to is a bit different. I think it's time that Republicans countered the negative stereotypes fostered by the Democratic Party concerning the Republicans' attitude toward blacks. Sure, Republicans will gain politically if they discredit these stereotypes, and I'm all for that, but society as a whole will benefit as well.

Presidential exit polls show that 90 percent of black voters chose Gore, and only 9 percent voted for Bush. Those numbers are staggering and alarming, but they aren't that different from previous elections. What motivated me to write this column, however, was two back-to-back e-mails I received last weekend.

One e-mailer wrote, "It's not diatribe that Republicans have contempt for the poor and blacks. Just listen in sometime to your brother preaching to his flock, for instance. I suppose you-all think now that Bush has or will appoint a couple of token African Americans to his cabinet, black folks should just get down and kiss his feet and forget all past indignities, discrimination and unfairness. I almost feel sorry for my conservative acquaintances who despise blacks. The first two appointments to the new cabinet (are) African Americans! This must be a bitter pill for them to swallow."

Another one was similar, but contained too much profanity to be reproduced in this column. But you get the point. Just to be sure, let me explain:

In my humblest of opinions, these are not just isolated, radical liberal or Democratic e-mailers. I've been discussing politics long enough to know that many Democrats either believe or want to create the impression for partisan purposes that Republicans truly are racists. Indeed, if the truth be known, many harbor the belief that ideological conservatism itself is just one big hate crime.

How else do you explain the incredibly monolithic black vote? How else do you explain Jesse Jackson's continued prominence notwithstanding his irresponsible and destructive rhetoric? Why doesn't this preacher of the Gospel lose all credibility when he says that "voting while black" is the newest crime and that there will be blood in the streets? Why is Jesse not shamed off the stage for claiming that Republicans tried to disenfranchise blacks in Florida just because certain counties with large black populations have less modern voting equipment? Keep in mind that these counties are under Democratic control.

I have to assume that Jesse would quit spewing this vitriol if it didn't work. But how can it possibly work? How can such falsehoods have any traction in the black community?

I'm really not sure, but I think it's time we tried to find out. I think it's time that Republicans began to counter the propaganda. I think it's time that Republicans challenge Democrats to tone down the racially divisive rhetoric. That and its cousin -- class warfare demagoguery -- are greatly polarizing and damaging our society in ways that transcend mere party politics.

Perhaps the Democratic leadership is afraid to debate the merits of the issues without using the club of racial politics. Maybe they're afraid that if they quit dividing people along racial, gender and socioeconomic lines they will relegate themselves to political obscurity. After all, they can barely win elections with 90 percent of the black vote. What if they garnered only half the black vote?

It is ironic that a Republican president-elect has already named three minorities (one also a woman) to his inner circle -- and he has just begun. Yet I don't think their race had anything to do with Bush picking them. He doesn't think in those terms. As a society we'd all be better off if no one else did either.

George W. Bush is just the type of leader to demonstrate that Republicans care about the plight of all people, irrespective of race, gender or socio-economic status. The public's acceptance of that message will be good for Republicans, but more importantly for the health of our nation.



JWR contributor David Limbaugh is an attorney practicing in Cape Girardeau, Missouri, and a political analyst and commentator. Send your comments to him by clicking here.

Up

12/18/00: Civility doesn't require surrender
12/13/00: Al Gore: Innocent victimizer
12/11/00: Judicial restraint and ordered liberty
12/06/00: The four years war
12/04/00: Debunking Gore myths
11/29/00: Defending the smaller principles
11/27/00: Albert O'Gore and the little people
11/22/00: Doing 'anything to win'
11/15/00: Enough is enough, Mr. Gore
11/13/00: Al Gore: Thy country or thyself?
11/08/00: Bill and Al: Your time is up
11/06/00:The impending Bush mandate
11/01/00: Can't stop thinkin' 'bout tomorrow
10/30/00: George: Give Gore the ball back
10/25/00: Mr. Gore: A few more questions
10/23/00: It's the big government, stupid
10/18/00: Gore's down, so will he panic?
10/16/00: We're fresh out of new Al Gores
10/11/00: Gore: Fuzzy math = dirty politics
10/10/00:Gore: Renaissance man or unbalanced?
10/04/00: Where have you been, Albert Jr.?
10/02/00: Clintonís fragmented presidency
09/27/00: Liberal media doth protest too much
09/25/00: AlGore: Turning dreams into nightmares
09/20/00: Something fishy's going on
09/18/00: It's the liberalism, stupid
09/13/00: An open letter to open-minded cynics
09/11/00: The virtues of going negative
09/06/00: On a mission for marriage
09/04/00: Al Gore's 'Trivial Pursuits'
08/30/00: Lieberman and the paradox of liberal 'tolerance'
08/28/00: A campaign divided against itself
08/23/00: Al Gore's trickle-down populism
08/21/00: Prosperity without a clue
08/16/00: AlGore can run but he can't hide
08/14/00: When hate speech is OK
08/09/00: Bush: The pundits' enigma
08/07/00: GOP convention: Live or Memorex?
08/02/00: The first attack dog
07/31/00: The Cheney taint?
07/26/00: The anti-gun bogeyman
07/24/00: The raging culture war
07/19/00: Is Hillary 'Good for the Jews'?
07/17/00: How dare you, George?
07/12/00: Jacoby's raw deal
07/10/00: The perplexities of liberalism
07/05/00: Big Al and big oil
07/03/00: Partial-birth and total death
06/28/00: Some questions for you, Mr. Gore
06/26/00: Supreme Court assaults religious freedom
06/21/00: Waco: We are the jury
06/19/00: "Outrage" just doesn't quite cut it anymore!
06/14/00: Al Gore: Government's best friend
06/12/00: Say goodbye to medical privacy
06/07/00: Elian: Whose hands were tied?
06/05/00: Who, which, what is the real Al Gore?
06/01/00: Legacy-building idea for Clinton
05/30/00: Clinton: Above the law or not?
05/24/00: Not so fast, Hillary
05/22/00: Gore's risky, fear-mongering schemes
05/17/00: Can Bush risk pro-choice running mate?
05/15/00: Right to privacy, Clinton-style
05/10/00: Patrick Kennedy and his suit-happy fiddlers
05/08/00: Don't shoot Eddie Eagle
05/03/00: Congress caves to Clinton, again?
05/01/00: The resurrection of outrage
04/28/00: A picture of Bill Clinton's America
04/19/00: President Clinton: Teaching children responsibility
04/17/00: Elian, Marx and parental rights
04/12/00: Elian, freedom deserve a hearing
04/10/00:The fraying of America
04/05/00: Noonan: End Clintonism now
04/03/00: Bush: On going for the gold
03/29/00: Phantasma-Gore-ia
03/27/00: Treaties, triggers, tobacco and tyrants
03/22/00: Media to Bush: Go left, young man
03/20/00: Stop the insanity
03/15/00: OK Al Gore: Let's go negative
03/13/00: Deifying of the center
03/08/00: The media, the establishment and the people
03/01/00: McCain's coalition-busting daggers in GOP's heart
02/28/00: Bush's silver lining in McMichigan
02/24/00: A conservative firewall, after all
02/22/00: Bush or four more of Clinton-Gore?
02/16/00: Substance trumps process
02/14/00: The campaign finance reform mirage
02/09/00: President McCain: End of the GOP as we know it?
02/07/00: From New Hampshire to South Carolina
02/02/00: SDI must fly
01/31/00: Veep gores Bradley
01/26/00: The issues gap
01/24/00: GOP: Exit, stage left
01/20/00: Nationalizing congressional elections
01/18/00: Do voters really prefer straight talk?
01/12/00: Media's McCain efforts may backfire
01/10/00: Conservative racism myth
01/05/00: Just one more year of Clintonian politics
01/03/00: McMedia?
12/27/99: Al Gore: Bullish on government
12/22/99: Bradley's full-court press
12/20/99: Bush: Rendering unto Caesar
12/15/99: Beltway media bias
12/13/99: White House ambulance chasing
12/08/99: Clinton's labor pains
12/06/99:The lust for power
12/01/99: In defense of liberty
11/29/99: Are Republicans obsolete?
11/24/99: Say you're sorry, Mr. President
11/22/99: Architects of victory
11/17/99: Trump's tax on freedom
11/15/99: GOP caves again
11/10/99: Triangulation and 'The Third Way'
11/08/99: Sticks and stones
11/03/99: Keyes vs. media lapdogs
11/01/99: Signs of the times
10/27/99: The false charge of isolationism
10/25/99: A matter of freedom
10/20/99: Clinton's mini-meltdown
10/18/99: Senate GOP shows statesmanship
10/13/99: Senate must reject nuclear treaty
10/11/99: Bush bites feeding hand
10/06/99: Jesse accidentally opens door for Pat
10/04/99: Clinton and his media enablers
09/29/99: Reagan: Big-tent conservatism
09/27/99: The Clinton/Gore taint?
09/22/99: Have gun (tragedy), will travel
09/20/99: Hillary's blunders and bloopers
09/15/99: GOP must remain conservative
09/13/99:Time for Bush to take charge, please
09/10/99: Bush's education plan: Dubya confounds again
09/07/99: Pat, savior or spoiler?
09/02/99: Character doesn't matter?
08/30/99: Should we judge?
08/25/99: Dubyah's drug question: Not a hill to die on
08/23/99: Should Dubyah start buying soap ... for all that mud?
08/16/99: 'W' stands for 'winner'
08/11/99: The truth about tax cuts
08/09/99: Hillary: Threading the needle
08/04/99: What would you do?
08/02/99: No appeasement for China
07/30/99: Hate Crimes Bill: Cynical Symbolism
07/26/99: Itís the 'moderates', stupid
07/21/99: JFK Jr. and Diana: the pain of privilege
07/19/99: Smith, Bush and the GOP
07/14/99: GOP must be a party of ideas
07/12/99: Gore's gender gap
07/08/99: Clintonís faustian bargain: our justice
07/06/99: The key to Bush's $36 million
06/30/99: Gore: a soda in every fountain
06/28/99: 'Sacred wall' or religious barrier?
06/23/99: GOP must lead in foreign policy
06/21/99: Crumbs of compassion
06/16/99: Compassionate conservatism: face-lift or body transplant?
06/10/99: Victory in Kosovo? Now What?

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